01.10.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Fund Administrators Broaden Reach

Systems integration poses formidable challenge.

The operational challenges of fund administration are embedded within the myriad systems that need to talk to each other, some of them home-grown and some licensed.

“System integration is a large component of what we do,” Rahul Kanwar, senior vice president at SS&C Technologies, told Markets Media. “Many of our large clients have internal systems, and we make sure our systems are able to communicate with theirs.”

However, the trend is toward adopting newer technologies such as cloud computing to bridge the islands of automation that have cropped up over the years.

“We are seeing that firms don’t want to support internal systems, and there is demand for cloud computing, where the maintenance and support of applications is offloaded to the service provider,” said Kanwar.

SS&C blends its technology savvy with subject matter experts such as legal and accounting firms to provide a seamless experience for its customers. “Interfacing with auditing firms is a natural extension of our business, as we manage the functions needed to produce the data needed to account for exotic derivatives,” said Kanwar. “We are all service providers to the same community.”

As the asset management industry has grown larger and more complex, fund administration has had to keep pace, especially with regulatory changes.

“The biggest change in the alternatives space related to fund administration is the need for greater transparency, and we have enhanced our offerings accordingly,” Kanwar said.
New reporting requirements for hedge funds, especially Form PF, will tax the resources of fund managers and service providers alike.

SS&C has developed an “alpha” version of a Form PF compliance solution set to be released later this year. “It is a web-based offering, which will prefill Form PF with all the requisite data,” said Kanwar.

SS&C is really two companies—a software company and a fund services company—that work synergistically.

“We’re a blend,” said Kanwar. “We are the only large administrator that is also a software company. We’ve been in business for 25 years and have been doing fund administration for 15 years, but our roots are in technology.”

That confers advantages when dealing with the escalating data management and other IT requirements that are vexing fund managers. “These include shorter processing windows and greater automation,” said Kanwar.

SS&C Fund Services is a leading independent fund administration provider for hedge funds, fund of funds, private equity funds and managed account managers, with more than $185 billion in assets under administration (AUA).

“By eliminating the complexities of fund set-up, accounting and valuation, investor relations, corporate services and back-office processing, we allow fund managers to focus on their core business,” Kanwar said.

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